History of Mother's Day

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The earliest Mother's Day celebrations can go back too the summer celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 1600's, The British celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday". Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent. "Mothering Sunday" honored the mothers of The UK..
During this period many of the England's poor worked as servants for the rich. As most jobs were located milesfrom their homes, the servants would live at the houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday the servants would have a holiday and would return home and spend the day with their mothers. A special cake, called the mothering cake, was often given to provide a festive touch.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe the celebration changed to honor the "Mother Church" the spiritual power that gave them hope and protected them from danger. Over time the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration . People began honoring their mothers as well as the church.

In the United States Mother's Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words for the hymn "Battle of the Republic") as a day dedicated to peace. Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother's Day meetings in Boston, ever year.

In 1907 Ana Jarvis, from Philadelphia, began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day. Ms. Jarvis persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.

Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessman, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day. It was successful as by 1911 Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May.

In most countries, Mother's Day is a recent observance derived from the holiday as it has evolved in North America and Europe. When it was adopted by other countries and cultures, it was given different meanings, associated to different events (religious, historical or legendary), and celebrated in a different date or dates.

Some countries already had existing celebrations honoring motherhood, and their celebrations have adopted several external characteristics from the US holiday, like giving carnations and other presents to your own mother.

The extent of the celebrations varies greatly. In some countries, it is potentially offensive to one's mother not to mark Mother's Day. In others, it is a little-known festival celebrated mainly by immigrants, or covered by the media as a taste of foreign culture (compare the celebrations of Diwali in the UK and the United States).

In Hindu tradition it is called "Mata Tirtha Aunshi" or "Mother Pilgrimage fortnight", and it is celebrated in countries with Hindu population, especially in Nepal. It is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of Baisakh i.e. April/May.

Mother's Days in various parts of the world

Mother's Day is celebrated on different days throughout the world.

Second Sunday in February: Norway
Shevat 30 (falls anywhere between January 30 and March 1): Israel
March 3: Georgia
March 8: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam . The date coincides with the International Women's Day. fourth Sunday in Lent (Mothering Sunday - March 14 in 2010) Ireland, United Kingdom
March 21 (first day of spring): Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
March 25:Slovenia
April 7: Armenia
April 24 +/- 5 days Baisakh Amavasya (Mata Tirtha Aunsi):Nepal
first Sunday in May: Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain
May 8: South Korea, Albania (Parents Day)
May 10: much of South America, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore
second Sunday in May:United States, Anguilla, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados,Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Croatia, Curacao, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Malta, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zimbabwe
May 15:Paraguay (same day as Día de la Patria)
May 26: Poland
May 27: Bolivia
last Sunday in May: France (except if it coincides with Pentecost day, in which case Mother's Day will be shifted to the first Sunday of June), Dominican Republic, Haiti, Sweden
May 30: Nicaragua
June 1:Mongolia† (The Mothers and Children's Day.)
Second Sunday of June: Luxembourg
Last Sunday of June: Kenya
August 12: Thailand (the birthday of Queen Sirikit Kitiyakara)
August 15(Assumption Day): Antwerp (Belgium), Costa Rica
Second Monday of October: Malawi
October 14: Belarus
second or third Sunday in October: Argentina (Día de la Madre)
last Sunday in November: Russia
December 8: Panama
December 22: Indonesia
20th Jumada al-thani (also called Women's Day): Iran and other Muslim peoples, especially Shias. The date is the (disputed) birthday of Fatima Zahra. The Islamic calendar is lunar so it cycles relative to the Western calendar.

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